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Basic question regarding Maxwells distribution!

  1. Jul 12, 2012 #1
    In a system of particles described by the maxwells boltzman distribution . What would be the fraction (Nv/V) of the total number of particles 'N' having the speed above the given speed 'Vo'?
    I have been puzzling through this answer for quite a while. I' am knew to Quantum mechanics so can anyone explain to me the solution to this problem?

    Any help would be appreciated!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 12, 2012 #2
    If Nv is normalised, you need to integrate Nv dv with limits of V0 to infinity. Or, just read off the values from the cumulative distribution function.

    Equation (3) here: http://mathworld.wolfram.com/MaxwellDistribution.html gives you a formula for the fraction of particles slower than x, so the fraction that are faster would be one minus this answer, ie. 1 - D(V0). Probably good to do this one on a computer.
  4. Jul 12, 2012 #3
    Also, the Maxwell distribution is not quantummechanical in nature, it is a part of classical mechanics (more precisely, it's a part of classical equilibrium statistical mechanics).
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